Tuesday, November 16, 2010

"Vegan Honey" and Choco-Nutty Rum Balls


I found an inspiration for this scene on Monique a.k.a. Mo's blog "Tea party post"


In my pre-vegan days I would sweeten my tea with honey. I would also use honey in baking and on a bread instead of a fruit jam. One of my favorite characters from an animated TV show was Winnie the Pooh who was addicted to honey and kept his honey in a cute "Hunny" jar. I have been looking for a vegan honey alternative for a long time. I tried agave nectars in many different brands and colors, maple syrup and corn syrup. Nothing reminded me of honey, until I found Suzanne's Organic Rice Nectar "Original". This thing is amazing, it is sweet, smooth and thick. It has a honey like flavor. I even went to a store and bought a wooden honey spoon for this "vegan honey". I have tried it in several different teas and on a bread and it is great. It is just organic brown rice syrup with no added sugars, preservatives or artificial additives. Suzanne's Rice Nectars are considered macrobiotic sweeteners. I haven't had a chance to try the strawberry version, but I ate almost all the chocolate version already.....


Suzanne's Rice Nectar "Chocolate" is a creamy, thick chocolate syrup that is so delicious that I had a hard time not eating the whole jar while standing up in the kitchen when I first opened it.......It is a much healthier version of a regular chocolate syrup, it contains only three ingredients: brown rice syrup, cocoa powder and natural vanilla. Nothing artificial, not even emulsifiers or preservatives.



These balls are amazing. They are flavorful, nutty and chocolaty with a mild rum kick. I used a very spicy and aromatic Czech rum (that has a hint of vanilla), but you can use any dark rum that you can get. However, you will need to add a teaspoon of vanilla extract if you use regular dark rum. These balls are easy to make, but fancy enough for an after holiday dinner treat.

Choco-Nutty Rum Balls


2 cups finely crushed vegan animal crackers (cookies)
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/4 cup soy or almond milk
1-2 Tbs. rum (if using other then Czech rum, add 1 tsp. vanilla extract)
1/3 cup chocolate syrup-I used Suzanne's Chocolate Rice Nectar. If you don't have chocolate syrup, you can use rice syrup (or Rice Nectar) plus 1 Tbs. cocoa powder
1 cup finely shredded coconut

Place the coconut in a small bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients together. Stir in the wet ingredients and blend well.
Form the mixture into small balls and roll them in shredded coconut. Refrigerate the balls in a covered container overnight.



Suzanne's Rice Nectar Raspberry Spreadable Fruit inspired me to make this vinaigrette. Unlike other raspberry jams or jellies, this one isn't too sweet so it works very well in a salad dressing. It is made with whole raspberries and brown rice syrup with nothing artificial, and no added sugars. It is not the best raspberry jam that I have ever had, because I prefer my jams sweeter, but it has a nice raspberry taste and it is very thick. I don't like runny, watery jams.

Fat Free Raspberry Vinaigrette

1/4 cup raspberry jam-I used Suzanne's Rice Nectar Raspberry
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1-2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
1-2 Tbs. water (optional)

Whisk all ingredients together in a medium bowl and use as a salad dressing.



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